Social Success

teamParents Help to Encourage Social Success at Home, Too!

By Audrey Prince, M.Ed.

Parents are fundamental contributors to their child’s success. As many educators acknowledge, parents are a child’s first teachers. A home environment that promotes academic and social success should not be undervalued. Many parents work to improve a child’s academic success by making sure the child completes all homework, studies for tests, and develops creative projects. But parents also have opportunities to help improve a child’s social success. Below are suggestions for teaching social skills that parents can practice with their children at home.

Steps for Teaching Social Skills at Home

1. Discuss the Need for Social Skills– Children need to understand that social skills are important. Share with your child that adults use social skills in their workplaces and community. Talk about/point out experiences that you or your child may have had or observed when social skills were necessary. Brainstorm and come up with a list of social skills that you and your child can work on throughout the year. Below is a list of suggested social skills to work on at home with your child.

• taking turns
• helping others
• praising
• sharing materials
• asking for help
• using quiet voices
• participating
• staying on task
• saying kind things
• using people’s names

List of Suggested Social Skills

• celebrating success • sharing ideas
• organizing materials • paraphrasing

• following directions
• resolving conflicts
• active listening
• accepting differences • communicating clearly • waiting patiently

2. Work on One Social Skill at a Time– When working with your child on social skills, focus on just one skill at a time. You may want to select one skill to focus on each week. Create a chart to list the skill for that week and record how the child is doing. Use a simple system such as happy face, neutral face, and sad face to show progress.

3. Talk About the Social Skill– Help your child identify what appropriate behavior looks and sounds like. For example, praising looks like a thumbs up, clapping, or smiling. Praising sounds like, “Terrific!” “I knew you could do it!” “You’re so smart!” or “Way to go!” Make a list with your child of “looks like” and “sounds like” behaviors and post it next to your chart for recording the target behavior and the progress your child makes in demonstrating appropriate behavior.

4. Practice the Social Skill– After discussing what a particular social skill looks and sounds like, provide an immediate opportunity for your child to practice the appropriate social skill behavior (looks like and sounds like). Act out a scenario with your child in which he/she must use appropriate behaviors to respond in a social situation.

5. Pause, Reflect, and Review– At the end of each day, take the time to pause, reflect, and review your child’s use of social skills that day. You may want to encourage your child to keep a journal to write down thoughts about the day. If your child is not yet writing, you can keep a journal together, in which you write the entries. Help your child celebrate his/her social skills successes—if you make it a big deal, your child will, too.

Parents can engage their children in these types of activities anytime during the day. Think about using time in the car or at the dinner table to discuss social skills. As parents, emphasizing the necessity of social skills is one of the most important things you can do to help your child succeed in school—but more importantly, in life.

© 2006 Super Duper® Publications • http://www.superduperinc.com

School vs. Private Practice Therapy

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-1-51-01-pmPros and Cons of Speech Therapy Settings

First of all, keep in mind that the rapport between the speech language therapist and your child is the most important element whether it’s in a clinic or in a school.

Secondly, the disorder that your child may have and the severity will also dictate your choice.

Finally, convenience, cost and payment options will also likely influence your decision.

 Pros and Cons of Speech Therapy in Schools

Pros

  • Cost
  • Eligible kids receive services free under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • Reach out to the state at CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288 to determine eligibility requirements and get a referral to your county administrators.
  • Convenience
  • The therapy happens at the school during school hours.
  • Team Approach
  • The educators and the SLP can work together to link the curriculum to the special needs of the student.

Cons

  • High Case Loads: School SLPs carry heavy caseloads. This often makes focused individualized therapy difficult to do.
  • Often school SLPs resort to group therapy sessions.
    • Groups can be beneficial if kids are paired with other kids who have similar issues and who are developmentally and socially compatible. This is not always the case.
  • Therapy Interruptions:
    • The school schedule with multiple long breaks leads to long interruptions in therapy.
  • Expertise:
    • The school SLP might not have experience or expertise to treat the specific speech or language disorder that your kid has.
  • Missed Classes:
    • Kids are pulled out of class for therapy which can have consequences both academically and socially.

Pros and Cons of Speech Therapy at a Clinic (Private Practice)

 

Pros

  • Flexible Schedules:
  • Christine Wilson Speech accepts appointments 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday-Friday
    • Access to Materials:
      • SLPs have immediate access to all of the materials, tools and props needed for a successful therapy session.
    • Individualize Attention:
      • Clinics give the parent the choice of small well-paired groups or individual therapy.
    • Resources:
      • Many clinics have access to a coordinated team of therapists (speech, occupational, behavioral, etc.)
    • Limited Distractions:
      • Therapy rooms are often devoid of distractions.
      • All the rooms are kid friendly and free of distractions so the student can focus on the therapy.

Cons

  • Insurance: Clients may have a copayment or co-insurance due at the time of each therapy visit.
    • Inconvenience Factor
      • The parent needs to drive to the clinic.

If you are interested in scheduling a speech evaluation today, contact Speech Language Pathologist, Christine Wilson!

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Reading and Writing

reading-and-writingThe Effect of Language Delays on Reading and Writing Skills: FAQs

Written by Dale Ducworth, M.C.D, CCC-SLP

 

Is there a relationship between language delays and reading/writing skills?

Ask any classroom teacher or special educator (SE) and he/she will tell you that children with language delays are much more likely to experience difficulties in the classroom, particularly in the areas of reading and writing. According to research, 73% of all second-grade students who are identified as poor readers have difficulties with phonemic awareness or spoken language in kindergarten (Catts, 1999). As a result, Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are becoming increasingly more involved in the remediation of reading and writing skills in children diagnosed with a language disorder.

What type of difficulties will a child with language delays have?

A child with a language delay may have difficulties in the classroom with:

  • understanding oral directions.
  • vocabulary skills.
  • using complete sentences or correct grammar.
  • completing assignments independently.
  • becoming easily frustrated.

How can a child’s reading and writing skills be affected by a language delay?

A child’s reading and writing skills can be affected by a language delay in many different ways. He/she may experience problems with:

-learning the relationship between letters and sounds.

-discriminating between sounds.

-learning sight words.

-“guessing” at words based on pictures or the beginning sound.

-spelling.

-fluent oral reading (not sounding “choppy”).

-forming letters and words on paper.

-organizing thoughts on paper.

-reading comprehension.

As a parent, what should I do if I suspect that my child might have a language delay and/or problems with reading and writing?

First of all, discuss your concerns with your child’s classroom teacher/SE. It may be possible that some changes could be made in the classroom that will help your child be more successful. If your child has not had a speech and language evaluation, request that an evaluation be done by the SLP at school. Be sure to tell the SLP about the difficulties you have observed in your child.

What can I do to help?

If your child is diagnosed with a language delay, be sure you understand his/her areas of weakness and the goals he/she is working on at school. Ask his/her SLP for activities that you can work on at home. Also, talk to the classroom teacher/SE about any problems that he/she may be having with reading or writing. Remember that good communication between the parent, classroom teacher/SE, and SLP is one of the most important things you can do to help your child.

What can I do at home to help my child?

Here are some suggestions for things you can do at home:

  • Read books with your child. Make it a special and enjoyable time together. If your child sees that you enjoy reading, it’s likely that he/she will see reading as fun! Also, reading books introduces your child to new vocabulary and allows him/her to hear grammatically correct sentence structures.
  • Promote phonemic awareness. Provide opportunities for word play through rhyming words, songs, chants, etc. Talk about how the words rhyme, begin with the same sound, or end with the same sound. For example, the book titled Brown Bear, Brown Bear says “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,What do you see? I see a Blue Horse looking at me.” When reading, you could point out that “brown and bear” begin with the letter “b” and “see/me” are rhyming words.
  • Provide new experiences. Exposing your child to new experiences provides opportunities for increasing vocabulary. For example, take your child to the zoo or for a walk in the woods and talk about things you see.
  • Encourage your child. A child that is struggling academically needs a lot of positive feedback to encourage success. Use phrases like “You are really working hard, You are doing a great job, etc.”

 

©2004 Super Duper® Publications.

Parent Involvement

How To Develop Correct Speech Habits At Home

Whether or not your child has been diagnosed with a speech sound disorder, there are many things you can do at home to help develop correct speech habits. You can even start developing these habits when your child makes his first babbles! Every child develops at a different rate and there is a wide range of what is considered normal in a child’s language development. You can take an active role in helping encourage your child’s speech and language development, just by adding a few easy steps into your daily routine. Here are a few tips for you depending on the age of the child.

From Birth through Two Years Old:

Imitate your baby’s actions and facial expressions. Teach your child to imitate your actions. Think of actions such as clapping your hands, blowing kisses, playing peek-a-boo with your hands. Narrate your day. Talk about the activities that you are doing such as taking a bath, going for a walk, putting on clothes, eating dinner. Identify colors, alphabet letters or numbers when you see them. Demonstrate the sounds that animals make, for example when you see a dog, make the “woof” sound, or the “meow” sound for a cat. Use real words rather than using baby talk. Sure it’s cute, but the earlier your child hears language spoken properly, the earlier your child will begin to use it.

Age Two through Four Years Old:

Use concise, clear speech that is easy for your child to understand. Ask leading questions that can’t be answered with a simple Yes or No. For example, “Which piece of fruit would you like?” or “What would you like to do today?” Teach your child simple nursery rhymes or songs that demonstrate patterns of speech. Encourage description by pointing out pictures of family members and friends in photos. Ask your child to identify whom she is seeing in the picture.

Age Four through Six Years Old:

Expand on your child’s speech and reiterate what he has said by repeating the phrase in a complete sentence. For example, if your child is saying “black dog”, answer your child with “you are right, that is a big black dog outside.” Ask your child to discuss his or her day, rather than simply asking, “How was your day?” You can have your child tell you three favorite things that happened in the day. Practice attentive listening. Its hard when we have a busy house, but the more you can show your child you are interested by giving him good eye contact and paying attention to what he is saying, the more often you’ll find him talking to you. Be patient. Your child is taking in the world around him at lightening speed! Give him a chance to respond in a thoughtful way.

Click here to schedule a speech evaluation with Speech-Language Pathologist, Christine Wilson!